Whether you are being fitted for sandals or strapping them on
yourself here are some guidelines to insure a good fit. Every
comfortable shoe starts with the footbed; generally speaking if any part
of your foot hangs over the edge of a footbed you do not have a good
fit. Assuming that your foot rests entirely within the footbed
perimeters you should start by fastening the most distant sandal strap
first. Straps that run across the toes should be fairly snug as this
strap holds your foot inside your shoe.
After the first strap has been fastened move towards the straps
covering the rest of your foot. Because your feet move when you walk
anything covering the top of your foot needs to flex with your foot.
Resting your index fingernail against your instep and placing the
strap across the lower half of it will give a strap the room it needs to
move when you do. Fasten the strap using whatever apparatus the sandal
comes with before moving to the strap behind your ankle if there is one.
Heel straps function as a safety belt for your foot. If you step back
quickly or unexpectedly your strap is there to help 'catch' your foot.
Back straps add stability to sandals making them a better choice for
people with balance issues. Sandals with adjustable back straps are also
ideal for tourists, expectant mothers, children and people who wear
sandals while participating in athletic activities. Heel straps need to
move with your foot so make sure your heel strap is slightly loose
around the back of your foot.
Sandals with straps are nice for people with feet that fall outside
of the normal width/height range since those with narrow/trim feet can tighten them up while people
with wide/tall feet can loosen
them to accomodate their wider foot. At work I tell people that footwear
should be good and comfortable right away. That same information
applies here although if you are being fitted for good supportive
shoes that you have not worn before there may be an adjustment period
while your body learns to work with a new level of support.
Understanding how a sandal will wear is an important part of getting a
good fit so make sure you know what you will be standing on before you
purchase it. Sandals with cork or memory foam footbeds will eventually
conform to an owner's foot creating a personalized level of comfort for
whoever wears them. Never let anyone else wear footwear that retains the
memory of your foot.
Properly cared for sandals can last for a number of years. This means
treating them well when you are not wearing them. Moisture is the enemy
of your footwear so keep your footbeds dry. If they do become wet leave
your sandals in a cool dry place until they are thoroughly dry. Since
your bare foot can produce several of ounces of sweat a day I recommend
giving your sandals at least 24 hours of dry time before putting them on
If your sandals have a cork footbed pay attention to the shiny seal
on the outer midsole. Cork will crumble if it dries
and rot if it gets wet so you will need to re-seal any cork based
footwear periodically. If your sandals have a suede footbed periodically
brushing them will help loosen dust and accumulated debris. While you
can use any small nylon bristled brush most household brushes do not
work as well as the ones manufactured for this purpose.
Sandals are only as good as the straps around your feet so please
take care of the materials used to manufacture your footwear. Leather
sandals will lose surface moisture to the air around them, leather can be easily cleaned and there are various leather care
products designed to keep sandal leather supple. Suede is more delicate
and difficult to care for: using a non-aresol based protective spray
will help stains from sinking into your sandals and make them easier to
When you are being fitted for sandals remember that sandals are not
designed to fit like dress or athletic shoes. Sandals that leave red
marks on your feet do not fit well. If a strap is bothering you after a
minute or two of wear in the shoe store it will definitely irritate
your foot after several hours of continuous wear. If you have
bunions, hammer toes, mallet toes, claw toes,
rheumatoid arthritis, or recent surgical scars on your feet shop for sandals
made from soft materials that can be stretched to accomodate your foot.
Whenever possible footwear should be tried on as you would be wearing
it. Periodically treating yourself to a good pedicure will slough off
dead skin cells, stimulate blood flow to your feet, remove callouses
and in general improve the appearance of your feet. Footwear is designed
to help protect your feet, if sandals are not a year round footwear
choice for you please remember that the tops of your feet can easily get
sunburnt and apply sunscreen accordingly.
Wearing shoes that are too small damages countless feet.
Sadly many people force their feet into sandals that are too short, too
narrow and they fasten the straps much too tightly across the tops and
backs of their feet. Knowing what constitutes a good fit should help you
avoid choosing inappropriately sized footwear. Hopefully you now have
an excess of information about sandals and their straps however if you
do have any further questions or comments please feel free to contact